Poem: Olive of Palestine and Kashmir

Palestinians harvest olives from their lands which currently lie on the Israeli side of the controversial separation barrier (background) near the West Bank village of Dura on October 30, 2019, AFP_0
Photo: AFP

By Quratulain Qureshi

“We will die here, here in the last passage.
Here and here our blood will plant its olive tree.” – Mahmoud Darwish 

I read of your olive trees that Darvesh once wrote about,
and how they flourish resiliently on the blessed land of yours
I hear that your olives have turned bitter now,
fighting back the enemies that seek to burn and destroy them,
just the way they seek to destroy you.
Do they not know “Palestine is the home of the olive?”
that your Olives are an epitome of resistance and resilience.
Are they also incognizant of the Promise of God?
If only they knew! If only they knew!

“Black on edges of flames, it cannot extinguish the neighbourhoods,
The homes set ablaze by midnight soldiers.
Kashmir is burning” – Agha Shahid Ali

We are also familiar with an “olive”, here in Kashmir.
In our neck of the woods,
it is customary for olive-clad men
to stop the wheels on highways,
and interrogate,
they have killed our men, and raped our women, too.
Olive hasn’t been very pleasant for us,
So, while we pray for your olives of Filastin to flourish,
We ask you to pray for the olive of Kasheer to wither.

Bio:
Quratulain Qureshi is currently a student at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, pursuing her Maters in Sociology.

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